When connecting with the Apple Community through Twitter I have always pushed myself to learn new things by taking part in the various creative challenges. Seeing how the Twitter challenges spread all around the world, especially the nomination challenges really proved the power of social media and how the Apple community are always willing to further develop themselves.

At the beginning of this academic year I was chatting to ADE Mat Pullen (@Mat6453) and we spoke about the Twitter challenges that we were both involved in. As I tweet a lot about the use of GarageBand in the classroom, Mat suggested that I started my own music based challenge. This was something I hadn’t really considered due to not being an ADE (at the time) and I felt I needed to be more established before creating a challenge.

When I became an ADE in April, I thought I would get the ball rolling by creating my own music based challenge. During the spring term I had been using GarageBand a lot with my classes, especially using Live Loops which enabled my students to create really high quality music compositions quickly and easily.

I realised that a Live Loops challenge is a perfect way for educators to have an introduction to creating music with GarageBand. There are a wide variety of genres to choose from, all containing Live Loops to create a piece of music that even Calvin Harris would be proud of!

I had to think of a way that would allow the music to be easily shared and for Twitter users to be able to hear the music instantly, without having to click a link or be redirected elsewhere. I made the decision to use the screen record function to create a video of the Live Loops Challenge. This worked out perfectly as the idea of the challenge is to compose ‘on the fly’ in an improvised way and this way the Twitter viewers would be able to see the loops being selected as it happened.

I started the challenge by recording my own Live Loops performance. Once the video was created I shared it on Twitter. I needed a hashtag so went with the obvious #LiveLoopsChallenge. I nominated five of my Twitter followers to take on the challenge and once they had completed it, they had to challenge five of their followers.

It was amazing to see the response to the challenge and be able to listen to so many great creations. It gave educators who wouldn’t usually use GarageBand in the classroom the opportunity to learn how to use Live Loops and it also encouraged them to pass this on to their students. A lot of educators think that GarageBand is only for use in music lessons but it is the perfect way to create great sounding background music for any project.

It was also great to see the hashtag come to life and people from around the world taking part. Thanks to everyone who took part and if you fancy creating your own music check out #LiveLoopsChallenge on Twitter by clicking here 

I have now started using the Live Loops Challenge with my classes at St Cyres School. It works very well as a starter activity due to being able to create instantly and have a finished product within minutes. The students love the challenge and are always fully engaged in the task. The idea of the challenge has now transformed to the classroom and the starter activity helps students develop ideas for their coursework compositions.